Q. Our oldest daughter, 9, has inquired about baptism several times lately. Since she was/is raised in church and attends a private, Christian school, she believes that Jesus died to pay for our sins, was resurrected and now is in Heaven with God. To me, that sounds like she is saved. What I don’t understand is how she can continue to lie without remorse, disobey her mother and me and show zero signs that the Holy Spirit resides in her. I know that we’re saved based on what we believe rather than how we behave, but shouldn’t there be any “signs” that she’s saved?
A. I believe the Lord changes each of us in different ways and at different times, so behavior is not always a reliable sign that a person is saved. In fact observing the behavior of another person can often lead us to the wrong conclusion. The fact that your daughter is asking about baptism is probably your best indication of her spiritual condition.
One thing that experience has taught us is that requiring our children to live up to certain behavioral expectations just because they’re Christian is the number one reason that kids leave the Church as soon as they’re free to do so.
Children develop their perception of their Heavenly Father by observing their earthly father. Be patient, show her the love of God and pray without ceasing for her spiritual well being.